PhD Research Grants

Seventh Call for Proposals for STEG PhD Research Grants

Deadline: Monday, 20 May 2024


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Application to this call is now open.

STEG invites applications to the Seventh call for proposals for PhD Research Grants.

Applicants must be currently enrolled in a PhD programme to be eligible for this call and will require a letter of support from their PhD supervisor sent no later than two weeks after the deadline to the STEG Team at [email protected].

PhD Research Grants of up to £15,000 can fund research assistance, data collection and/or purchase, and stipends. Stipends should only be requested if they allow the researcher(s) to reduce teaching/administrative duties and therefore free up time for research. There is scope for other stipend usage in the case of researchers from the Global South. Stipends are capped at £12,000 for PhD students in programmes located in high-income countries and the PPP equivalent for PhD students in programmes located in low- and middle-income countries. Grants will also support travel to field sites, even when secondary data is utilised. We view this kind of travel (with the possibilities for field visits and conversations with policy makers) as particularly important for researchers who lack prior experience in the countries that they intend to study. Please note that cost effectiveness and value for money are important evaluation criteria and submitted budgets will have to adhere to the STEG Budget Guidelines.

Research may focus on broad systemic patterns and processes of structural transformation and growth for low- and middle-income countries, in a comparative sense across time or space, or more narrowly defined topics related to one or more of the following six research themes:

  • Data, measurement, and conceptual framing;
  • Firms, frictions and spillovers, and industrial policy;
  • Labour, home production, and structural transformation at the level of households;
  • Agricultural productivity and sectoral gaps;
  • Trade and spatial frictions;
  • Political economy and public investment.

STEG is also focused around three cross-cutting issues that are simultaneously relevant to many areas of structural transformation, including the six research themes:

  • Gender;
  • Climate change and the environment;
  • Inequality and inclusion.

An important criterion for funding is that the research is relevant to policy in low-income countries (LICs), particularly in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). While STEG is willing to fund research elsewhere, a clear case for the relevance of the research to policy in specific low-income countries must be made. Further, particular consideration will be given to PhD researchers from LICs or based at institutions in LICs in order to encourage broader participation in the programme.

While PhD students are eligible to apply to our Small Research Grant (SRG) calls (see upcoming call timeline), this call is exclusively for PhD students.

PhD Research Grants are essentially equivalent to Small Research Grants (SRGs) with a more limited budget. We strongly recommend that prospective applicants read the SRG documentation about eligibility, country criteria, preparing an application, how to apply online and the SRG Frequently Asked Questions before applying.

Please note:

  • We aim to issue funding decisions within three months of call deadlines.
  • A PhD Research Grant is intended to be completed within 12 months.
  • Contracts should be signed within one month of the return of the final decision, which is also the expected project start date.
  • Given the volume of proposals received, we may not be able to provide tailored feedback to proposals unsuccessful at the first stage of reviews.


23:59 BST, Monday, 20 May 2024. Applications received after this time will be considered for the next PhD round.

Applicants are asked to submit their proposals, using the templates available at the bottom of the SRG & PhD funding page, via the SRG Application Form on Hub.

If you have any questions, please contact the STEG Team at [email protected].

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